Project using only Christmas Clearance Items

I have been working on my amusement park area and I have a nice midway started.  The only thing missing was something in the middle to break up the games from the food areas.  I wanted to do something similar to what I saw growing up (round concrete areas with a lite tree in the middle) 

So after Christmas my wife and I are hitting the stores for after Christmas Clearance items.  I start to find some items that I think will work.  I found a few plastic candy containers for 90% off so only a dime each. (Yes I did eat the candy)  Next was some small led lights for 90% off of 5.00 so only 50 cents and I still have 11 left over after cutting the strands. 

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At another store I came across across their holiday village type stuff and picked up a small container of rocks and this was only a buck.  Finally, the trees came in a 3 pack and I was surprised they were on clearance due to them being summer trees not your typical snow covered pine trees.  This was marked down to 3 dollars or basically a buck a tree.  

Painted the containers a rust color and glued in the base of the trees

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Drilled holes in the bottom of the plastic containers to run the LED lights through each one and hot glued them into place

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Filled each container with the pebbles

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Wired them up in the midway and enjoyed my under 5.00 project.

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Bryan

TCA, LCCA, NMRA Division 5, OTTS, Tuesday Night Train Crew

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Berkshire President posted:

Nice job, Bryan.

Any chance that was inspired by Geauga Lake?  

Tony, you're right spent many days at Geauga Lake during my youth and that is what I was looking to recreate a bit.  I remember they had something similar between the games and the wave; also between big dipper area and food vendors.

Bryan

TCA, LCCA, NMRA Division 5, OTTS, Tuesday Night Train Crew

yamawho posted:

Nice ... what voltage did you use to power the three lights ?

The light string was connected to a battery pack that required 3 AA batteries or 4.5v.  So when I cut it I just wired it (each 3 light strand) to my 4.5vdc power strip under the layout.  

Bryan

TCA, LCCA, NMRA Division 5, OTTS, Tuesday Night Train Crew

I love this idea - whether you got inspired from a source or not, your creation is something to be proud of.

A warning of sorts on those lights: I bought a 10-lite set at the dollar store and powered them with a wal-wort.  One by one they quit working.   I used a 4.5V DC one from Radio Shack and it is regulated.

I'd like to hear more from you after you've had them turned off and on a dozen or so times because I have a use for them but don't want to waste my time again if they burn out so easily.

- walt

Walt,

Hopefully that doesn't happen but I have plenty of left over material to make others.  I am not using a wall wort, I wired it directly to a power strip that I have regulated at 4.2vdc (4.5 is what it uses with the batteries)

Bryan

TCA, LCCA, NMRA Division 5, OTTS, Tuesday Night Train Crew

WickedWanda44 posted:

I love this little project !! Makes me want to do something similar on my disney world layout!! Seems like it would fit perfectly for the theme of things!! 

The best part of the project is eating all the candy inside the plastic containers.  

Bryan

TCA, LCCA, NMRA Division 5, OTTS, Tuesday Night Train Crew

walt rapp posted:

A warning of sorts on those lights: I bought a 10-lite set at the dollar store and powered them with a wal-wort.  One by one they quit working.   I used a 4.5V DC one from Radio Shack and it is regulated.

I'd like to hear more from you after you've had them turned off and on a dozen or so times because I have a use for them but don't want to waste my time again if they burn out so easily.

- walt

Walt, 

I was hoping I wouldn't have had to report this but unfortunately the same thing is happening to me after 1 week. Out of the 9 lights 3 are out and 1 is blinking.  Lucky I can quickly empty the stone and replace these cheap led Christmas lights with some better ones that I purchased as stand alone led and were never part of a Christmas set.  Oh well it was worth a try and I am only out 50 cents. 

Bryan

TCA, LCCA, NMRA Division 5, OTTS, Tuesday Night Train Crew

Lucky in hindsight that I left the stones loose so I can easily pour them out, swap out the lights, and put them back into their place.  Also I purposely left the wire runs a little longer underneath the layout just in case the dc step down module ever broke and fried the the lights.   

Bryan

TCA, LCCA, NMRA Division 5, OTTS, Tuesday Night Train Crew

Bryan, We at Paradise and Pacific have great luck using 5mm LED lights we buy from China 100 a pack for about 5 bucks. Solder in a 220 resistor and shrink wrap the assembly, we make them for about .25 a piece and had several running daily for 2 years. When you drop them through the bottom of the candy ring, gang solder into one feed with crimp on or solder spades for your power strip.

 

Paradise & Pacific Railroad

Was able to use LED bulbs that a gentleman sells at all of the local train shows.  I bought a bunch awhile back thinking I would eventually use them for something.  They look the same and I had them on for over an hour and turned them off and on numerous times.  I think these are going to work.

amusement1 [1)

Bryan

TCA, LCCA, NMRA Division 5, OTTS, Tuesday Night Train Crew

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Bryan, nice vision and execution.  The trees look great.  I'm glad that you have a solution for the lights.  It may just be a difference in the photos, but I think the new LEDs look a little better (cooler?).

Thanks for sharing your project, and great savings, too!

Tomlinson Run Railroad

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